Titus Benton, a Katy area resident and the founder of The 25 Group, walked 22 miles in order to raise $22,000 dollars for water in East Asia. The money raised will be given to Attack Poverty, a …
Titus Benton, a Katy area resident and the founder of The 25 Group, walked 22 miles on June 22 in order to raise $22,000 dollars for water in East Asia. The money raised will be given to Attack Poverty, a nonprofit organization, who will use it to provide the water. The walk began at The 25 Group’s headquarters at 8 a.m. and ended at Attack Poverty’s headquarters around 3:30 p.m. Monday.
Some people joined Benton along his journey, walking a mile or more, while others were encouraged to donate to the cause. This isn’t Benton’s only experience with raising money for nonprofits though. The 25 Group is also a charity organization but works to provide the funds for other groups like Attack Poverty, said Benton.
“Our goal is to equip other organizations who are serving the ‘least of these’,” said Benton. “To unpack the ‘least of these’ a little bit … (it) comes from the Bible where Jesus is talking about caring for people. That’s what forms our work.”
Benton has worked at churches for close to 20 years, he said, before he began to consider forming a charitable organization. The idea finally came in 2013 after an emotional trip to India with Benton’s student ministry.
“I think the biggest things for me were some trips I've made to the Dominican Republic, and then subsequently to India where I just saw human need in a way, I had never seen it before. And it was just unacceptable. It was something that I thought did not have to be that way,” Benton said.
After that, Benton began to change his life, he said, beginning with selling his house and investigating into the giving lifestyle. He asked other nonprofit leaders and friends for advice before finally deciding to take the risk.
“We just decided to take the plunge. That's when we put some of that money to starting a non-profit and then we recruited our friends. I mean it was all a social media kind of effort when we tried to raise money,” Benton said.
The birth of The 25 Group turned out to be a success with a little over $56,000 raised, said Benton, but in the last few years, individual donations have decreased for the first time ever. Benton believes this sudden decrease is due to a lot of things but one reason stands out the most: lack of attention.
“It is a challenge. We're a Katy-based nonprofit that almost no one in Katy has heard about. Cause we're doing work in Katy, but we're not on the front lines. We're sort of a supporting agent,” Benton said. “In some places, it's an eyeball competition. How do people notice what you're doing?”
Of course, that doesn’t stop Benton from working with these nonprofits, he said. They are far too important and provide better support to the “least of these” than most methods.
“My working definition of (injustice) is when there's stuff that is that shouldn't be or when there's stuff that shouldn't be that is. It's just not okay. And I've thought for many years that the churches I was working in were going to be instrumental in solving those problems, but I think a lot of these non-profits ... have really just been able to really focus and make that their main thing,” Benton said.
Benton has many aspirations for his organization, including the hope that they can become a group of non-profits rather than just individual donors. Either way, he is still happy to continue partnership with other non-profits and see the impact both groups make.
“There's so much that sucks about the world that I can't control, but we can do this. We can make other people's life a lot better, and that pay off, getting to do it in community with our donors, it's just a blast,” said Benton.